I have had “Easter Cakes” for the last two years.  I did not spend all day Saturday baking, frosting and decorating a cake.  Usually, I bake the cake and freeze it early in the week. I like to freeze it because it makes for a moister cake.

I defrost it the night before I want to decorate it. My friend, whose mother makes professional decorated cakes, told me to defrost it on the counter because if you defrost it in the refrigerator, you will get condensation.

  1. Cut the cake into the desired shape using templates found online. (My favorite source is bhg.com.)
  2. Frost every piece with a “crumb coat” and let it set.
  3. Frost the cake with the colors you have chosen.
  4. Then the fun part – decorating the cake with candy!
My 2012 Easter Cake

My 2012 Easter Cake

This year will be the best ever – my niece and sister are bringing the desserts!

My 2011 Easter Cakes


I was going through my closet looking for clothes to wear to church on Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday. I read two new trends for spring were to wear all of one color and use neutral accessories or to wear Black and White with a pop of bold color.

I went through my closet and pulled out my few dress clothes. As I have been housebound for six years, my wardrobe consists mostly of tee shirts in various necklines and sleeve lengths. I layer them depending on the temperature and wear sweaters or a blazer over them when it is cold.

I found a black and white print skirt and cobalt colored shrug. I picked out two shirts to wear under the shrug and a decorated cobalt scarf. I hung the outfit on my closet door last weekend. Each time I looked at it I thought of the other accessories I had. I remembered a pair of earrings that would match the decorations on the scarf.  By this weekend, I had a “new” outfit that had been in my closet all along.

I did the same thing for Easter Sunday. I pulled out the yellow suit I wore to my son’s wedding and a yellow tee shirt to wear under it. By the time this weekend rolls around, I will have turned it into an Easter outfit!

The trick is to hang it outside of the closet to make you look at it and evaluate accessories to wear with it.

The suit I wore to my son's wedding. it will become my Easter outfit this weekend.(Photographer - timestocherish.com)

The suit I wore to my son’s wedding. it will become my Easter outfit this weekend.
(Photographer – timestocherish.com)



I love the taste of homemade rolls. In fact, I have one recipe that I named after my daughter-in-law because I made them for the first time for her birthday dinner. The outside was warm and brown and the inside was light, airy, and almost doughy.

I have never been able to repeat that success because I tried to bake the rolls on 350 degrees with the other foods in the oven. I think they have to be baked at 400  degrees.

This year for her birthday dinner I found how to make “Brown-and-Serve” rolls.  Use your favorite recipe for rolls and bake them at 275 degrees for 20 minutes (do not allow to brown). Remove from pans; cool to room temperature. Wrap in aluminum foil. Store in refrigerator no longer than 8 days or freeze no longer than 2 months. At serving time, heat oven to 400 degrees. Bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes.

I saw the cutest rolls on Facebook the other day. After the rolls had risen, they snipped 2 “ears” and poked 2 “eyes” into the front of them.  When they baked them they looked like rabbits.

Homemade "Brown-And-Serve" Rolls.

Homemade “Brown-And-Serve” Rolls.


I am always frustrated when I walk by a picture hanging on the wall and see it is tilting. I finally found a permanent solution to the problem…


I put both sides of the Velcro dot together. I remove the adhesive cover from one dot and stick both dots to the picture frame. I hang the picture, holding the picture away from the wall; I remove the second adhesive cover. Using a level, I get the picture straight and then I press it against the wall in the corner where the dot is placed. The dot adheres to the wall and the Velcro holds the picture level.

I use Velcro Dots to keep my pictures level.

I use Velcro Dots to keep my pictures level.


I was dressing in the bathroom and my elbow touched the picture on the wall. I was shocked when it fell because I barely brushed it. On closer inspection, I found the “hanger” had failed.

The only thing left was the "hanger."

The only thing left was the “hanger.”

I ended up with a broken frame.

Broken picture frame.

Broken picture frame.

I will never buy another picture frame that has a cardboard cut-out for a hanger. I plan on going through my picture frames and adding hangers to the ones that are designed this way. You don’t even have to buy the hardware. You can rip the cutting edge off of a box of aluminum foil and cut a small portion of that off. Attach it to the frame with small brads.

Another thing I will look at is the pieces that hold the picture in place. I will never buy one with these tabs that are supposed to bend. I will look for those that swivel into a cut-out slot. My grouping of family pictures will have to have all of the frames replaced as the tabs broke off when I replaced the school pictures each year.

No more picture frames with this type of tabs to hold the pictures in place.

No more picture frames with this type of tabs to hold the pictures in place.


This week we said goodbye to a friend who excelled in a lost art…making new clothes out of old clothes. Kerry made costumes for the local theater. What impressed me the most about her designs is how she would take a piece of clothing, cut it up and make a new costume out of it!

Years ago it was common to cut a new shirt out for a child from a larger shirt that was frayed at the seams.  I remember one episode of “The Walton’s” when Olivia cut the skirt off of Erin’s dress and made a shirt for Jim Bob out of the top.

I’ll never forget watching Kerry going through some old “Show Choir” costumes from the local high school when we were practicing for “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Coat.” She explained that the skirts from the dresses would become vests for the 12 brothers. Below is a photo of my husband, who played Simeon, in one of the vests.  (That’s me next to him. I played “The Baker” in one scene and was in the chorus for the rest of the play.)

My husband and I before opening night of "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Coat."

My husband and I before opening night of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Coat.”

I did make over one costume for a play, but it was nothing like the designs that Kerry created. It was my first foray into local theater and they were doing the play, “Music Man.” They split up the chorus into family groups, but they ran out of men! During the “Shipoopi” Dance, I was paired with the young actor who was also my “son” in my family group. Since, I was dancing with my son and there was not a man in my family group, I asked the director if I could dress as a widow!

I went through the costumes looking for a black dress of lightweight material as the production was planned for late June. I found a jumpsuit with a crew neck in a polyester material that had rows of tiny holes in it. You could not see the holes, but it sure helped keep me cool under the hot lights.

I remember ripping the legs apart, and using my senior prom dress as a pattern, I pinned up a “new” dress. My grandmother had given me a collar that she crocheted and I wore it over the pantsuit/dress.

Me and my husband after the play, "Music Man."

Me and my husband after the play, “Music Man.”

Kerry inspired me another way. While she was undergoing treatment at the “Cancer Treatment Center of America” she made a quilt! I pulled out the quilting square I had neglected and started sewing again.


Since I live in Iowa, my dream home would have to have a full basement. I want a safe place to go when the tornadoes are blowing by. In the basement of my dreams there would be a theater. It would have velvet curtains on both sides of the screen and framed posters on the walls. There would be recliners complete with drink cups for at least eight people. Of course, there would be no windows to let us view our movie in darkness.

Back in the real world…the TV we watch the most is upstairs and there is a floor-to-ceiling window in it. The drapes I purchased for this window are “Energy Star” approved and they have a black-out lining. They block the light on the brightest of days making anytime “Movie Time.”

The drapes in my front room have a black-out lining.

The drapes in my front room have a black-out lining.


My dream house would have an attached conservatory or greenhouse. I would grow all the herbs I like to cook with and fresh vegetables for my table.  Of course there would be lush houseplants and beautiful flowers that I would cut to decorate my home. Alas, it is all a dream. Although, with my allergies the only way I can grow things is inside.

Luckily, my husband does not mind doing a little gardening. I buy the seeds; he grows them. One of the most interesting things we grow is “Tall Corn.” The record for “Tall Corn” was 21 feet a year or so ago. We plant this corn in front of our picture window as it does not have any shade. Yes, I plant corn for shade! I wanted to get an early start on our “Tall Corn.” I planted it in a window box and I leave it on the floor in front of the picture window.


My "greenhouse".

My “greenhouse”.

When company comes, I move it to the window between the kitchen and front room to clear floor space.

My "Greenhouse" in the window between the kitchen and front room.

My “Greenhouse” in the window between the kitchen and front room.


I dreamed of owning a castle when I was a child. There would be one room dedicated to original art. Of course, in my dreams it was expensive art.

I do have one-of-a-kind art that was created by my children when they were in school. I turned the stairway leading down to the basement into my own “Art Gallery”. I stapled the matted pictures on the wall and placed their ceramic creations on a shelf.

Someday, I plan to frame each piece individually or to place them between pieces of Plexiglas screwed into the wall. I also want to add lighting, but all of that can wait.

My personal art gallery.

My personal art gallery.


Snow is falling today, and if it were Christmas, it would be beautiful. But it is March and we are tired of winter. I have a project to help you with your cabin fever.


Dream about the house you would buy or build if money were no object. What rooms would be in that house? Make a list of the rooms you would want. I have shared that my home does not have a formal dining room. That is the first room on my list.

Now, look around your home and see if you can carve that space out of a portion of one of your rooms. I have shared several times about making a formal dining room out of half of TV room in the basement.  During the holidays it takes over the entire room.

Move things around and set up you new “space”. You will probably need to give away or throw away some items to make room. Try to bring everything you will need in that space and store it nearby. I store my extra dishes, flatware, chargers, chafing dishes and roasters in boxes underneath the stairs. My tablecloths, runners and napkins are stored in boxes underneath the table itself.

I will show you how I carved out a space for my dream rooms in my home over the next few posts.

My table set for a birthday dinner.

My table set for a birthday dinner.